Saturday, July 2, 2016

Effects of Bad Karma: Cleansing

The following is taken from my book, "The Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna" available on Amazon. A link to the book is available towards the end of this post. It is just Rs. 61 ( or 96 cents). You can read it on Kindle, Kindle Fire or Kindle apps or any other ebook reader.

Karma is often talked as the results or consequences of whatever you do - good or bad. In its origin, the word "karma" means the deeds you've done, are doing, or will do in future. Whatever you do, you will have to face the consequences. Generally, the term consequences of Karma is replaced by the word Karma itself whereas Karma means "deeds" (work - good, bad, neutral etc.). But since most of us use Karma as consequences, I will also try to use the word in the same context.

There are two general notions:
1. Good karma (work/deeds) will bring you good results
2. Bad karma (work/deeds) will bring you results that will make you repent for what you did or avoided doing

There are other karma (deeds) we do without our knowledge. For example, doing nothing is also a type of deed. If someone requires your inputs to decide on something, and you deny it fearing the outcome, it is also a form of work/deed you've done. You'll be accountable to that as well. So we can say that not doing anything is also a form of deed that will come back to you someday - in this or other life.

According to Swami Vivekananda, a disciple (Student) of Sri Ramakrishna, there are two types of karma:

1. Prarabdha Karma: This means the deeds for which you are already enjoying or suffering the results. This could be the results of deeds you did a while ago, yesterday, years ago or even in your previous births. This is the karma that has already started and you will have to go through it - be it good or bad. Usually, people are so distressed if it is bad that they forget they have methods to reduce the pain. We'll talk about the method in a while.

2. Sanchit Karma: This is the karma that has not yet started. It has been accumulating and waiting for the chance to make you pay for it. It is not that karma is always bad. As said earlier, karma can be either good or bad... or both at the same time. Anyway, since Sanchit Karma is not yet started, you can go for karma cleansing so that you don't have to suffer the consequences or at least, reduce the pain of consequences. This does not  mean that you go kill people and then go for karma cleansing. But if it was unavoidable, probably you can get yourself safely out of the karma (consequences). It depends upon God to weigh your deeds against the repentance or cleansing.

Karma Cleansing - Reducing or Avoiding Consequences

The only method, according to Sri Ramakrishna, the Guru of Sri Vivekananda, is to get back to your origins. Origins refer to your God - in whatever way you can pray to Him or Her. To reduce the suffering for already acting Karma, you have to detach yourself from the suffering and rely on God. You need to praise Him, perform acts of charity and feed the hungry etc. Such noble deeds will wash out your bad karma (deeds) and thus you will be able to avoid the "karma in waiting" also.

This is the only method. Maybe you won't have resources for cleansing of deeds. In that case, you have to rely on God and ask Him for forgiveness. The Almighty will then reduce the suffering or give you resources to clean yourself. The karma in waiting can wait for too long before striking.

King Dhritrasthra of "Mahabharata" had 100 sons. All of them were killed in the famous Mahabharata battle. After the war was over and due rituals were performed, Dritrasthra asked Lord Krishna why all his sons died and that why not even one was spared to carry on his lineage. Lord Krishna replied that Dhritrastra had broken a 100 eggs of a bird some 50 lives ago. 50 lives? Dhritrastra was anxious why it had to take 50 lives. Lord Krishna told him that it takes a good amount of good deeds to get children. The 50 lives allowed him to accumulate enough good karma so that he could have the 100 sons. But since the act of destroying the 100 eggs were also pending, it took toll in his current life.

That is enough to tell us that we must perform good deeds and pray to God regularly. If you know you have done bad deeds, ask Him for forgiveness. Perform as much good as you can. Doing good will reduce the effects of Sanchit (accumulated) Karma. Being good will reduce the pain of Prarabdha (Already in progress) Karma. In both cases, and in cleansing of Karma, you have to depend solely on God and live a lifestyle where you won't even think of harming anything. Don't even kill an ant. Never turn away anyone who asks help. Maybe you don't have much to help but you can always help to the extent you can. It could be as small as directing the needy person to someone who can help.

I hope I made the point clear above. If not, please send a mail to me so that I can further clarify on person to person basis. 

For emphasis again, relying on God, asking Him or Her for forgiveness, and performing as much good as you can will help in reducing effects of Bad Karma; it its cleansing. It may also help in avoiding the results (karma) completely.

Link to Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna on Amazon

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